Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finding Popular Magazines in Our Online Databases

Once upon a time, if you wanted to read a magazine, you would need to find it in the library, subscribe to it, or buy the latest issue in a store.  These days, you can read many articles just by going to the magazine's website.  But you can't read everythingTime Magazine, for example, has recently started requiring payment for selected articles. Many other magazines do the same, and different ones allow different levels of online access. A few magazines that rely mainly on advertisements give you access to just about everything.  Some give you recent articles free, but charge for access to back issues.  Others don't offer online back issues at all.  It's hard to know how much access a particular magazine allows.  Generally, you just have to go to the website and see if it lets you keep reading the articles.  But what if it doesn't?

Let's say you're looking for a magazine article from five years ago.  You go to the magazine's website, but they don't have online access going that far back, or they are charging more than you want to pay.  Here's where the library may be able to help.  There's a good chance you can find that article in one of our online databases.  We have databases with articles from a wide range of popular magazines: Rolling Stone, Field & Stream, US News & World Report, Ebony, Louisiana Life, and thousands more.  As with many of our online resources, you don't even need to come to the library to read them.  All you all you need is an internet connection and a library card.

In this post, we will highlight some of the magazines available through MasterFILE Premier; a general-purpose database for public libraries.  To access this database, go the library's website, at  Then go to "Online Databases", on the left side of the page, and then click "All-Purpose Databases and Encyclopedias", at the top of the database categories.  This will bring you to a screen that looks like this:

To find a particular magazine, click on "Publications", at the top right.  This will open a page like this:

In the lower search box, you can search by title, or you can check the "By Subject and Description" button, and search for magazines and other publications about particular subjects.  If you find the magazine you are looking for, and it is available in full text, it may come in two different formats.  Some are available in HTML full text, which means the text of articles is available, but not the images.  The ones available in PDF full text, however, contain images of pages scanned from the print version of magazine.  This means they include all the pictures and other graphics.  For a list of just a few of the popular magazines in MasterFILE Premier, see the end of this post.

Looking up particular magazines is good if you want to stick to just one title.  But what if you're simply looking for a good article, and don't care which magazine you find it in?  Here's where databases like MasterFILE Premier really shine, because they allow you to search many sources at once.  MasterfileFILE Premier has full-text articles from thousands of magazines and journals, so you're very likely to find an article on the topic you are looking for.  You can search for keywords simply by entering them in the main search box, or you can click on "Advanced Search", and specify that you are searching for a particular author or subject.

If you don't find the article you need in Masterfile Premier, you may be able to find it in one of our other databases.  One good thing to know about MasterFILE Premier is that it's just one of many databases offered through EBSCOhost, most of which have the same interface.  You can switch to another database or search more than one database at a time, by clicking on "Choose Databases", just above the search box. This displays the pop-up window shown below.  Simply click the databases you want to search.

If you want to find out more about any of the databases listed, hover your mouse over the icon to the right of each title, and a description of the database will pop up.  Each database has a very different range of articles.  Some, such as Academic Search Complete, are aimed at college researchers, while others, such as Primary Search, are aimed at grade school children.  Others, such as Bibliography of Native North Americans, focus on one particular topic.  Whatever information you're looking for, chances are your library has a database that can help you!


General Interest and News
  • Economist (HTML 1990 - Present)
  • Harper's Magazine (HTML 1992 - 2007)
  • Newsweek (HTML 1990 - Present)
  • New Yorker (HTML 2004 - Present)
  • Time (HTML 1990 - Present)
  • US News & World Report (PDF and HTML1990 - Present)
  • Vanity Fair (HTML 2005 - Present)
    African American Interest
    • Black Enterprise (PDF and HTML 2001 - Present)
    • Ebony (PDF and HTML 1945 - Present)
    • Essence  (HTML 1992 - Present, PDF 1992 - 2002)
    Business and Finance
    • Fast Company (HTML 2000 - Present)
    • Forbes (HTML 1990 - Present)
    • Inc. (PDF and HTML 1990 to Present)
    • Kiplinger's Personal Finance (PDF and HTML 1991 - Present)
    • Money (HTML 1990 - Present)
    Consumer Information
    • Consumer Reports (PDF and HTML 1991 - Present)
    • Consumer Reports Buying Guide (PDF and HTML 1999 - Present)
    Culture and Natural History
    • National Geographic (HTML, 1995 - Present, minus 3 month delay)
    • Natural History (PDF and HTML 1990 - Present)
    • Smithsonian (HTML 1990 - Present)
    • Entertainment Weekly (HTML 1993 - Present)
    • People (HTML 1994 - Present)
    Family Health
    • Consumer Reports on Health (PDF and HTML1992 - Present)
    • Prevention (HTML 1990 - Present)
    Home and Garden
    • Country Living  (HTML 1996 - Present)
    • House Beautiful (HTML 1999 - Present)
    • Horticulture (PDF and HTML 1995 - Present)
    • Louisiana Life (PDF and HTML 1996 - Present)
    • New Orleans CityBusiness (PDF and HTML 1994 - 2008)
    • New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles (PDF and HTML 1996 - Present)
    • New Orleans Magazine (PDF and HTML 1996 - Present
    Men's Lifestyle and Health
    • Esquire (HTML Full Text)
    • Men's Fitness (HTML 2002 - Present)
    • Men's Health (HTML 1990 - Present)
    • Billboard (HTML 1994 to Present)
    • Rolling Stone (PDF and HTML, 1990 to Present)
    • Mothering (PDF and HTML, 1990 - 2011)
    • Parenting (PDF and HTML, 1997 - 2009)
    • Commonweal (PDF and HTML, 1990 to Present)
    • Guideposts (HTML 2006 - Present)
    • U.S. Catholic (PDF and HTML  1992 - Present)
    Science and Technology
    • Discover (HTML 2001 - Present)
    • Popular Mechanics (HTML 1996 - Present)
    • Popular Science (PDF and HTML, 2002 - Present) 
    • Scientific American (HTML 2005 - Present)
    Sports and Outdoors
    • Boating World (PDF 2003 to Present)
    • Field & Stream (PDF and HTML, 2001 - Present)
    • Golf Digest (PDF and HTML, 1993 - Present) 
    • Motorboating (PDF 2001 - Present)
    • Outdoor Life (PDF and HTML 2001 - Present)
    • Professional Fisherman (PDF 2001 - Present)
    • Sports Illustrated (HTML 1992 - Present)
    • Salt Water Sportsman (PDF and HTML 2001 - Present)
    Women's Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Cosmopolitan (HTML 1996 - Present)
    • Harper's Bizarre (HTML 1999 - Present) 
    • InStyle (HTML 1996 - Present)
    • Redbook (HTML 1996 - Present)
    • Real Simple (HTML 2000 - Present)

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